Notes: Savard suffered from headaches Sunday


Notes: Savard suffered from headaches Sunday

By JoeHaggerty

EL SEGUNDO, CA Marc Savard landed in Boston on Sunday afternoon after the long flight back from Denver, and it appears the Bruins center will be getting treated for both a cut and a head injury that had the center suffering from headaches one day later.

Savard flew home with assistant equipment manager Matt Falconer, and was going to get some rest before getting run through a series of all-too familiar medical tests in the days ahead.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told via a text message that Savard will be evaluated by doctors on Monday, and it appears that the 32-year-old center is exhibiting some of the symptoms associated with a concussion.

Nothing has happened since he got to Boston, so I havent heard of anything as well, said coach Claude Julien. His head was hurting because he was cut over the head. The medical staff was being cautious with whats happened to him by sending him home, but he was still having those headaches this morning.

They havent deemed anything yet, and thats what will happen in Boston. Theyll check him out and decide whether its serious. It didnt seem serious since he remembered the hit and everything that happened afterward. It was more the cut than anything else and it was precautionary move by everyone involved.

Savard missed the first 23 games of the season over the first two months while recovering from the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome and seemed to just be finding his game in the last couple of weeks.

But it appears Savard might be on the shelf again with whats hoped is a minor concussion that wont keep him out of the lineup for a long period of time. All bets are off, however, when it comes to a case of a player like Savard thats battled with some pretty serious neurological issues over the last calendar year.

The violent way Savards head slammed into the glass following contact with Matt Hunwick on Saturday afternoon, and his emotional reaction following the collision, spoke volumes about what the center is feeling but things could change for the better a few days removed from the hit if Savard truly was fully and completely healed from the concussion and PCS symptoms that dogged him during the spring and summer.

David Krejci was moved up to a center position on the top line with Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton at Sunday afternoons practice at the Toyota Sports Center facility used by the Los Angeles Kings a reunion of the line that tore up the NHL over the first month-plus of the season.

Hopefully we can pick it up and have a good stretch, said Krejci. We played really well, but we had a couple of games that we didnt produce. So we had to have a chance. Im excited about it.

Krejci went through a dry spell of seven games wrapped around the end of December and beginning of January where he managed only a single assist, but it appears the Czech Republic center is back on the upswing again. In his last seven games Krejci has seven assists and earned the helpers on both of Milan Lucics goals against the Colorado Avalanche a good sign for Krejci and Lucic as theyre again setting in as Bostons big playmaking unit.

The last few games I felt pretty good and my legs have felt good, said Krejci. Weve created a lot of scoring chances, and the last game Looch really broke out which helps. Its funny how this game works sometimes.

You feel like you played pretty well and one game, second game, third game you have no points. A month later you look at it and you see five games with no points, and you say, Wow, you must have been awful. Im not saying I played well when I had no points, but Im sure in these games I felt good. It happens sometimes. The season is long and it happens. Youre playing against the best players in the world. You just need to forget about it and get ready for the next game. Im just glad that Looch is playing well and hes back on my line. So far, so good and we want to keep it going.

Tyler Seguin practiced at center with Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder on either side of him in practice, and Julien said the soon to be 19-year-old is continuing to really absorb all the nuances of the NHL game.

Seguin has two goals and three assists in 12 games during the month of January, but has gone six straight games without gracing the scoresheet despite his ability to score at will on both goaltenders when the Bruins practice the shootout at the end of their Sunday work day at the Toyota Sports Center.

I think when you look at our lineup weve got some really good experience up the middle and its an important part. When you talk about Gregory Campbell, Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Savard theres some real experience there and some good things, said Julien. Putting Seguin on the wing has taken some of the responsibility away from him so he can develop more comfortably, but when injuries happen its pretty easy to throw him back in there at center.

I dont think any of this moving back and forth is hurting him at all. I think its helping him because its allowing him to understand the game at this level much better from both of these positions.

Daniel Paille will be back into the lineup for the Bruins on Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings to replace Marc Savard, and should be skating with Shawn Thornton and Campbell to start the game at the Staples Center.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Friday, Jan. 20: Canes’ Bickell tries to carry on after MS diagnosis

Friday, Jan. 20: Canes’ Bickell tries to carry on after MS diagnosis

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply skating my lane today.

*A terrific piece on Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell getting on with his life after an MS diagnosis, and pushing to see if he can return to the ice.

*If the New York Islanders botch the hirings for people guiding the franchise, then John Tavares could be one of the next figures gone from Brooklyn.

*It’s been a rough go of it for St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen over the past few weeks and that continued on Thursday night.

*Top NHL Draft prospect Nolan Patrick’s value comes from his two-way play, and that’s what teams are focused on rather than the injury issues.

*Mike Babcock talks a wide range of subjects with James Duthie during a 1-on-1 with the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach.

*In his never-ending odyssey on the fringes of the NHL, Seth Griffith has been claimed by the Maple Leafs on waivers for the second time.

*Veteran forward Clarke MacArthur won’t be playing this season for the Ottawa Senators amid his concussion issues.

*For something completely different: Bill Belichick just being Bill Belichick at his press conference on Friday and that’s something we can all be reassured about.


Haggerty: Bruins motto is don't just do something, stand there!

Haggerty: Bruins motto is don't just do something, stand there!

After back-to-back, soul-crushing losses earlier this week, the Bruins responded by doing pretty much what they've done over the last couple of seasons:


Claude Julien was not relieved of his duties -- as many expected after the Bruins blew a couple of three-goal leads in a shootout loss in Detroit on Wednesday night -- and there was no big shakeup for a reeling hockey club that certainly feels like it needs it.

Instead the Bruins will host the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night after going through a “nothing-to-see-here, everything-is-fine” morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena, then go to Pittsburgh for a Sunday afternoon matinee against a Penguins team that’s playing some pretty good hockey.

Maybe the Bruins will play better than they did in taking one out of a possible four points against two of the worst teams in the East -- the Islanders and Red Wings -- and perhaps that will tamp down some of the unrest among those that closely follow this organization.

But the fact is, the Bruins front office doing nothing in the face of stunning underperformance from its hockey club is the furthest thing from courage, bravery or doing the right thing.

This is the third straight year we've seen no-shows and a startling lack of emotional engagement from a team that collapsed down the stretch and missed the postseason in each of the last two seasons, and is now in a position where it may not even be in the playoff hunt at the end of this one. To sit still as it happens again feels, to this humble hockey writer, like willful indifference in the face of the obvious: Something is broken with the Bruins.

There's no single big trade that can fix it, not with the Coyotes and Avalanche as the only true sellers. And a Bruins management group with the true best interests of the hockey club in mind would look at the 'seller' option, dealing away some of the core pieces and starting a true rebuild around Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and the young players under team control that are beginning to filter into the NHL level.

But it doesn’t feel like this current B’s front office, or the ownership group, has the appetite for that, and instead wants to retool on the fly while also attempting to compete for the playoffs. That’s a delicate balance and it’s one that has caused the Red Wings to go sideways this season, putting them in danger of missing the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 1990-91.

That’s the same Red Wings team, incidentally, that somehow came back from deficits of 3-0 and 4-1 against the Bruins on Wednesday.

With a trade unlikely, the easiest way to a short-term spark continues to be a change with the head coach. Everybody knows Claude Julien has been the best coach in the modern Bruins era, and he’ll forever be loved and cherished in the Boston area for helping win the Stanley Cup in 2011. But the jarring comments from Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand about the team not being ready to play, and collectively taking the Isles too lightly, can’t be ignored.

It feels like things are altogether too comfortable in the Bruins dressing room, and that can be a byproduct of the same coach with the same core group of players for the last 10 years. The sense here is that the Bruins need a short term butt-kicker who'd come in and challenge some Bruins veterans who haven’t been challenged enough in recent years, and will bring an edge to a group that’s look satisfied and happy lately while insulated with big-money contracts and no-movement clauses.

That kind of move could give the Bruins enough of a nudge to get them into the playoffs this season, and help ease the rebuilding pain until Charlie McAvoy, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Zach Senyshyn and the next wave of Bruins prospects are ready to blossom.  

Instead the fancy-stats brigade will tell you that the Bruins are automatically going to turn things around because of the incredibly slim premise that it’s all based on shooting percentage, and Bruin apologists will tell you that the roster simply isn’t good enough right now. So riding it out with Julien is the right move because he's the MacGyver-like chewing gum that’s holding it all together right now.

Sorry, but many are not buying this Bruins-approved message.

They have two-thirds of the best forward line from the World Cup of Hockey in Bergeron and Marchand. They have a legitimate No. 1 goalie in Tuukka Rask. They have experienced, proven winners in David Krejci, David Backes and Zdeno Chara. They have bright, young talents in David Pastrnak and Brandon Carlo. And they're about to get passed by the Senators and Maple Leafs in the playoff race once those other teams catch up to Boston in games played. Nobody can make the straight-faced claim that Toronto or Ottawa is superior to the Bruins in the overall talent department.

The Bruins are underachieving this season, and some players have been truly disappointing in big spots.

The simple truth is that Julien isn’t getting the most out of them. They settle for perimeter shots far too much in the offensive zone, which plays into the poor team shooting percentage, and they take opponents lightly far too often for a hockey club in the NHL’s middle class.

Those kinds of traits fall back on the coach, and, unfortunately, replacing Julien is the most readily available card for Bruins management to play when they finally begin feeling the desperation and urgency that’s been missing too much this season.

Perhaps some of it is a fear of removing a popular, accomplished figure like Julien, and then watching him have success somewhere else. Perhaps some of it is a hesitancy to turn things over to assistants Joe Sacco and Bruce Cassidy at such a delicate point in time this season. Perhaps some of it is that one of the few real alternatives the Bruins are facing would be general manager Don Sweeney or team president Cam Neely actually manning the bench as Julien’s replacement if they fired the head coach, a maneuver that hasn’t been seen with the Bruins since the Harry Sinden days when Mike O’Connell went to the bench in 2002-03 after firing Robbie Ftorek.

Whatever the reason, the Bruins still haven’t seen enough to decide that something needs to change with this group sputtering along to another playoff DNQ. The fans are decrying it while holding their hefty season-ticket package bills in their hands, the clear-eyed observer sees it without question, and there’s no doubt some hard-working Bruins players are hoping for it behind the scenes on a ship that’s taking on water.

But nothing of significance is going to change with this Bruins team until they make a change, and that’s something they continue to avoid.